Summer's Eve has released controversial commercials asking one and all to hail the great and powerful V… er… vagina.
And how should you celebrate this "cradle of life," this "center of civilization," this "most powerful thing on earth?" Buy a Summer’s Eve douching product of course.
If, as the ad says, men fight and even die for the vagina (cue scenes of jousting knights), it might as well smell like "Delicate Blossom," a Summer's Eve scent.
According to The Frisky, some lucky viewers saw the commercial before certain showings of Harry Potter this weekend. The quest for the "V" is almost as epic as the hunt for a horcrux, after all. (We would love to query our favorite heroine Hermione Granger for her thoughts on the subject.)
So why has this stirred up controversy in the blogosphere?
Well, for starters, douching is bad for you.
When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health was asked on their website if women should ever vaginally cleanse, they responded with a simple: "No. You should never douche to try to get rid of vaginal odor, discharge, pain, itching, or burning."
Most obstetricians and gynecologists recommend that women avoid douching completely as it can get rid of good bacteria and cause infections.
A vagina is a self-cleaning organism, so if you want to "show it a little love," as the Summer's Eve voice-over requests, maybe it's best to leave it alone.
Health concerns aside, there is also something disconcerting about juxtaposing Cleopatra with flowery scented nether regions. Yes, we love celebrating strong and diverse women throughout history, but we're pretty sure that their vaginas weren't the source of their success.
A press release announcing the "Hail to the V" ad campaign quotes Angela Bryant, the director of feminine care for Summer's Eve, saying, "This campaign is about empowerment, changing the way women may think of the brand, and removing longstanding stigmas: Summer's Eve is not a means to confidence, rather it's a celebration of confidence, of being a woman, and taking care of their bodies."
Bryant is right that there needs to be a more open dialogue about gynecological health, especially considering that many media outlets won't allow the word "vagina" to be used in advertising. "We are way past due for a change," she said.
Still, the ad missed the mark -- by a lot.
The campaign does have one thing going for it: It’s less offensive than the commercials Summer’s Eve ran last summer, which informed women that the first step to getting a raise was douching in the morning. (You know, because that's usually the first thing you see on an employee performance evaluation.) Seriously, see the full-page ad that they took out in Women's Day magazine here.
The company later apologized and removed the advertisement from circulation.
Check out our slideshow below of other Summer's Eve ads. What do you think? Is the "Hail to the V" campaign a "Hell to the no?"